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Fifth and sixth for Dovizioso and Crutchlow

Fifth and sixth for Dovizioso and Crutchlow

Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow finished fifth and sixth respectively in Qatar, with Dovizioso pointing to a reduced gap to the frontrunners as a positive point, whilst Crutchlow described his Ducati debut as ‘bittersweet’.

After starting from the second row of the grid Dovizioso lost a couple of places in jostling for position in the early laps but thanks to his consistency and riders ahead of him crashing out, he managed to finish the race in fifth place.

What was important for him though - as he celebrated his birthday on race day -was the progress made it terms of the gap to the race winner Marc Marquez of just over 12 seconds. Last year Dovizioso finished the race seventh and was over 24 seconds off 2013 race winner Jorge Lorenzo.

“We have to look at the positive aspects of this result, because in view of the championship a fifth place is always important,” said Dovizioso. “But another important objective for us was to reduce the gap to the winner, and we managed to cut that down by half from last year, and that’s another important fact. We still have understeer problems that condition our performance in the race, but I am pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, even though we still have to work hard to improve our bike.”

His teammate Crutchlow, making his race debut with the Desmosedici GP14, experienced problems in the race. The British rider, who started from row three, had an issue with his bike’s transponder after a few laps which affected his race. The problem got worse in the final stages and causing him to struggle in the last few laps, though he did manage to cross the line in sixth.

“It was a bittersweet race for me,” admitted the man from Coventry. “Finishing in sixth place is a good result, I needed to repay the boys with a finish because they worked hard after the warm-up, when I crashed out. In the race, from lap 5 onwards, we had an electrical problem: the transponder wasn’t working, the dash switched off and the bike began to behave strangely.”

“I was pleased to be competitive until midway with Aleix (Espargaro) and Dovi but I struggled to finish the race because the problem got worse towards the end. However it was important to get this race distance under our belt for Ducati and come away from here in not too bad a shape.”

MotoGP, 2014, COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, Ducati Team

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